Lutherans in the Twin Cities

Local churches to plan support for immigrants

Some congregations in the Twin Cities will participate in a national vigil and fast for immigrants in Arizona July 11-17. The vigil, named Isaiah 58, will last eight weeks.

The vigil began on June 6 in the New England area. Since then different states have participated in the vigil each week.

Congregations can be involved in many ways. “Gathering together and offering prayers makes a difference. It means a lot for people in Arizona to know that others are praying for them in Minnesota,” said Rev. John Guttermann, the Minnesota field director for Church World Service.

The Rev. Judith VanOsdol, of El Milagro Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Minneapolis plans to participate in the vigil. “It is important to stand in solidarity [and] support, and to raise visibility [about] immigration issues,” she said.

VanOsdol said participating in the vigil is an important activity for churches. “It is important for churches to be working to support those who are forced to the margins. As church members there is the ethical issue of addressing a broken system,” she said.

“This isn’t an issue of lawlessness,” she said. “There is a tendency to think immigration issues are neutral that have always been the same. Generations ago immigrants did not face the same issues. I’ve seen immigration laws change in the past 20 years.”

Planning the actions for the Twin Cities is still in process, but there are plans to hold an event each day. To find out how to become involved, contact Guttermann at 651/ 485-3104 or e-mail him at jgutter mann@churchworldservice.org.

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